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Not enough time?

How to find time to learn English? ⌚

No time? Here are six techniques to help you get the most out of your waking hours and find the time to learn English!

We live in a world with so many things to do, problems to solve, and tasks to accomplish, that we end up not having time to learn new things. For many people, that also means not having enough time to learn English.

That's the number one excuse aspiring language learners have. We often hear them say "I don't have enough time to learn English, I have too many things to do, blah blah blah...". Do you think you're one of those people? Do you want to know the secret to learning English efficiently despite having a busy schedule?

Well then, you're in the right place! Today, you will discover six methods that even the busiest people can apply in their everyday life in order to better manage their time and finally learn English!

Dead time 🎧

Research has show that we spend at least a third of our lifetime sleeping! But we also lose a lot of time doing things such as getting around, waiting for someone, waiting in line at the supermarket, and even in the bathroom! To put it short, we're losing these small moments in our lives! They seem so insignificant that we waste them waiting or distracting ourselves. It really is a shame because if we were to use all of this dead time efficiently, making the most out of each second, then we would be able to free up hours on end each week.

So how can you make the most out of your dead time? You can download applications on your phone and do some little exercises. You can use flashcards to learn vocabulary, for example. The advantage of your phone is that it's always on you. That makes it easier to take it out while you're in the bus or waiting in line.

If you want to learn English in the car or in public transportation, or if you simply have more time at your disposal, there's a great solution for you! Listening to the radio, audiobooks or podcasts are an excellent way to practice your English while your body is occupied. Whatever format you choose to practice your listening comprehension, you can be sure to learn English faster by making use out of all of your dead time.

And when you're sick of all that, just try thinking in English! Let your thoughts wander, but do it in English. Explore all the things you can say to describe what's happening around you.

The foot-in-the-door technique 🦶

The famous foot-in-the-door technique in English, when applied to learning languages relies on the magical duration of 5 minutes. That's actually a way to "trick" your brain!

When you tell yourself you're going to do something for just five minutes, it often lasts much longer because you start playing along. You usually end up working longer than you had expected and that's exactly the result we're counting on. You will often end up spending a total of one hour of English per day without even realizing it!

Even though 5 minutes can seem insignificant, they're already a step towards achieving your goal. You're dedicating time to your English studies, you're making progress. And every effort is welcome, small streams make big rivers!

What's more, by applying this technique several times a day, you reinforce your memory and you avoid forgetting. This is called the ultradian rhythm and it will allow you to learn faster.

The morning routine ☕

Our brains work better in the morning, because we're still fresh and rested. With less distractions, worries and fatigue, we absorb more information than towards the end of the day. That's why we recommend including English in your morning routine! It's up to you to decide when exactly you'd like to do it. Maybe after having washed your teeth or having your breakfast? Choose the moment that suits you best and turn it into a time dedicated to learning English to start off your day on a good note.

If you want to make sure not to forget, make it the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning. For example, get yourself a chronometer and focus for 10 minutes. No excuses, don't say you don't have time to learn English. What's important is constantly improving yourself, one step at a time. A good site to do that is Babadum which has a lot of vocabulary in the form of a simple interactive game. Babadum will not make you fluent in English but it's a great way to get the ball rolling.

Do not hesitate, however, to take on a bigger challenge. If you want to learn English quickly, Click & Speak might be the perfect solution for you. As far as the content goes, it is the most serious course available, yet it's also light and fun in its form. This product has already been used by hundreds of people who dedicate one hour or even more to learning English each day.

Commitment and consistency 🤞

When we commit to doing something, we tend to stick to it. You can use that to your advantage to find time to learn English.

It's hard to say no when you've committed to doing something with someone else and, if you're paying for it, it's even harder. For that reason, you could find one or several tutors to work with on a weekly basis. Book your classes in advance to make sure you'll stick to them. If there are no tutors around you, you can also take online classes on sites such as italki. There are others sites, too, but what's great about italki is that you can book several lessons at the same time. That's perfect if you want to plan ahead while also respecting your commitments.

If not, you can also find a language exchange partner. There are many apps you can use to do so, such as Hellotalk or Tandem. You can also get some inspiration by the two friends from Poland who created Antimoon. They committed to only speaking English, in order to obligate themselves to practice.

The environment 🌳

A good technique in order not to forget something is to place the object or a note in a place where we can't miss it. The classic example is the gym bag in front of the door so you don't miss your workout the following day. You can also use this in English — the goal is to see English everywhere. But how can this help me better manage my time, you might be wondering?

It's not that complicated. Adapt your environment by decorating it with things in English, be it reminders or pretexts to practice. Cover your home with sticky notes (on the walls, doors, table, notebooks, etc.) where you'll see them all the time. They will help you review and focus on learning English. Hide anything that's in your native language!

To take things to the next level, change the language of your phone or computer to English. Do the same for your web browser and your favorite programs. If you don't know how to find time to study English, then go ahead and apply this technique right away! Having the displays of your phone and computer in English can be a bit deconcentrating at first, but you'll quickly get used to it.

Motivation ✨

Finally, let's not forget that if you want to stick to your goal, then you need to make learning English fun, a hobby and not a chore. It's extremely important to stay motivated, to want to work on your skills each day. If you feel like jumping out of the window each time you work on your English, then you need to think again about your approach.

On the Click & Speak blog, you will find many articles which will make learning English more interesting. But what other ways are there to stay motivated to learn English?

You could for example keep a log book or a diary where you write down everything about your studies. Mark what you do each day and go back to your notes at the end of the month. You will certainly find it motivating to see all the work you've done and you'll surely want to do even more the next one. As a bonus, write down how much time you spend so you can see how you're getting closer to the famous 1,000-hour-mark in English!

Another alternative for those of you who don't like writing is buying a calendar. The perfect type of calendar would be the one you can hang on your wall or you can stick to your desk, one that's easy to see. At the end of the day, cross the day with a highlighter to indicate you've worked on your English. The goal is to keep your streak, which means not stopping with your progress! Little by little, you'll see that it will become a habit. Very good! Making English a part of your day-to-day life is exactly what we wanted.

Conclusion 📝

To sum up, what do you need to do in order to find time to learn English? How can you manage your time better?

  • make the most out of your dead time,
  • work on your English for at least five minutes, several times a day,
  • make learning English a part of your morning routine,
  • commit to it,
  • put little reminders everywhere,
  • manage your motivation!

The world offers us so many opportunities and so many distractions that it's easy to forget our initial goals. I hope that thanks to this article, you'll succeed in making English a part of your life and that you'll be able manage your time more efficiently!

Stop procrastinating! Go try out some of these techniques right away! :)

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Ellie Wu


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Dimitar Dimitrov


Last modified: October 11, 2021, 11:39 am